When telemetry data is transmitted through a communication link, some degradation in telemetry performance occurs as a result of the imperfect frequency response of the channel. The term telemetry degradation as used here is the increase in received signal power required to offset this filtering. The usual approach to assessing this degradation is to assume that it is equal to the signal power loss in the filtering, which is easily calculated. However, this approach neglects the effects of the nonlinear phase response of the filter, the effect of any reduction of the receiving system noise due to the filter, and intersymbol interference. Here, an exact calculation of the telemetry degradation, which includes all of the above effects, is compared with the signal power loss calculation for RF filtering of NRZ data on a carrier. The signal power loss calculation is found to be a reasonable approximation when the filter follows the point at which the receiving system noise is introduced, especially if the signal power loss is less than 0.5 dB. The signal power loss approximation is less valid when the receiving system noise is not filtered.